This Sunday we begin a sermon series in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Of all the New Testament letters, this is one of the longest and most interesting, probably because it was written to a church with so many problems! I find it amazing to think that the church could have so many difficulties so soon (about thirty years) after Jesus’ own earthly life. There never was a Golden Age of a church with no problems. Yet, the church’s survival and explosive growth following those early days is a testament to the gospel’s power. To be able to grow as it has in the inhospitable soil of the human heart, the message of Jesus Christ must be a hardy and vigorous plant indeed.
Meanwhile, our gospel readings will take us on a journey through the gospel of Luke. Let me share a simple and refreshing thought from today’s passage – something which has struck me powerfully in recent times. Jesus healed the paralysed man to show that he possessed “authority on earth to forgive sins” (Luke 5:24). Don’t you think it is absolutely wonderful that a person has walked our earth who truly possessed the authority to forgive sins? Otherwise, how could we have any hope of our sins being forgiven? It is only through the authority of Jesus, which itself is based on his work on the Cross, that I can say the gospel words of the absolution each week. (There is no power in my words, except their power to comfort believers through the gospel itself.)
Thank you to everyone who filled out the “ministry opportunities” slip over the last couple of weeks. We are contacting each person and making sure you are trained up for new ministries you might have joined. Today I am running training for public Bible reading (at 11 am and 3 pm). Please come along if you’re on the roster. It only goes for half an hour, and I promise it will be useful!
- Jerome and Indra are with us next week. Please come along to meet them on Sunday 20th Feb, and find out about the week’s events.
- Roof dedication with the Archbishop is on in exactly a month. We have just sent out invitations to local political leaders. I hope you can be there on Sunday 13th March at the special time of 10 am, and afterwards for lunch.